A section of highway in Philadelphia collapsed on Sunday after a tanker truck carrying gasoline caught fire, leading conspiracy theorists to suggest without evidence that the accident may have been staged.
The fire, which severely damaged a small part of Interstate 95, thankfully resulted in no deaths or injuries. Nevertheless, conspiracy theorists were quick to insinuate that foul play was potentially involved.
One user on Twitter shared a close-up photograph of the damage before questioning why the truck couldn’t be seen in the frame.
“Riddle me this Batman. One would reasonably expect there to be SOME remnants of a tanker truck after a fire, right?” they questioned. “Do you see any remnants of a truck in this after fire image? All I can see in this pic is the collapsed portion of I-95. Where’s the truck? Where is the driver, for that matter?”
Others pointed to reports last month regarding ammonium nitrate that went missing from a train car. Although investigators said that their initial finding suggested the explosive material leaked from the train car, conspiracy theorists have cited the incident as proof that the government stole the fertilizer for a false flag attack.
“This bridge collapse just shut down one of the most vital transportation routes in the USA. I call BS that a truck fire did this especially since reports say multiple explosions were heard,” another wrote. “Pro Tip: Remember all that ammonium nitrate stolen in California 2 weeks ago?”
The incident even drew several left-wing conspiracy theorists into the mix, some of whom suggested that the bridge was purposely destroyed by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Conservatives also made similar claims when attempting to blame the fire and collapse on left-wing Americans and President Joe Biden.
“Tanker truck ‘caught fire’ and I95 bridge collapsed in Philly area. Nothing to see here folks,” a user said. “Just America’s infrastructure being targeted by the left. Where did all the $billions go for that infrastructure bill, pedo-Joe?”
Another popular talking point is the claim that such a fire could not damage a concrete highway. Yet former American Society of Civil Engineers President Andy Herrmann, according to Reuters, said that bridges were not designed to withstand the heat from gasoline fires, which reach temperatures upwards of 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
And although conspiracy theorists have pointed to reports of multiple explosions as suspicious, officials with the local fire department say that those were likely caused by gas runoff or underground gas mains.
Such devastating fires are not entirely uncommon. Six years ago in Atlanta, a fire caused by toxic materials under a highway similarly led to a section of I-85 to collapse.